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Subject guide for music


Is there a source similar to JSTOR and Oxford Online for painters? Would you be able to find info about paintings and examples of them through the library?

Yes! I'm glad you asked, since we didn't talk about this in class. There are some great sources for information about visual arts, and for the actual artworks, too. 

A. Oxford Art Online is the equivalent of Oxford Music Online, but for all aspects of visual culture: 

B. ARTSTOR is the equivalent of JSTOR, but with visual arts rather than articles. You can view and download thousands of artworks:

C. Also, check out this library RESEARCH GUIDE for ART & DESIGN:


How Can You Tell if a Book is Scholarly?

Great Question! You can tell by using a lot of the same criteria you use to judge scholarly articles. If you answer YES to these three questions, you'll know the book is scholarly:

Author - Is the author an expert in their field; for example, do they have advanced degrees in that field? 
Publisher - Is the publisher well-respected, like a university press?
References - are there lots of citations, footnotes, end notes, or a bibliography? 


What is the Benefit of Searching in Oxford Music Online as Opposed to "Loogle?" (the Library Search Engine)

Oxford Music Online, also known as the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, is the world's largest, most comprehensive music encyclopedia, and it's also a great place to start your research. As mentioned above, Oxford Art Online is sort of the same thing, but for the visual arts.

In the good old days we used to have to walk over to the library to use the Grove Dictionary, and we still have it here on the shelves in Presser (even though it's not actually published in hard copy anymore):


Loogle, or the Library Search Engine, is your connection to the vast world of physical and online books, journal articles, recordings, scores and other materials the WCU Libraries make available to you. We used to call this the Library catalog, but I find this hopelessly out of date:

You can find a link to Oxford Music Online in Loogle, but you can't search inside Oxford Music Online using Loogle. For that, you have to actually get into Oxford Music Online:



Does WCU Have an Interlibrary Consortium With Other Local Schools, in Case a Book is Out of Circulation? Are Interlibrary Loan Books OK For This Project?

Yes, and Yes! Our library partners with other libraries not only locally, but around the world. If we don't have something you need (or if we do have it, and somebody else has borrowed it) ask us to get it for you from one of these other libraries. Talk to me if you have any questions!

How to Tell if a Hard Copy is in the Library

Ok, a few things to look for when you do a search in Loogle. If you see this, you know the book is an ebook, because it says Online Access:

Same thing here, where it says Full Text Available:

Finally, we're getting to a hard copy book, in the Presser Music Library:

To really know if it's in the library, and not checked out, click on the title and look for where it says In Place or Available:


I Wonder What to Do If I Have a Topic That Has Very Little Material Published; or What if I'm Really Set on a Topic/Idea But I'm Having a Hard Time Finding Any Decent Research Material?

Two suggestions:

  1. Sometimes you have to reframe or refocus your topic. For example, maybe your topic is too specific, and you need to take a broader view to find research materials. Or maybe you need to shift to a slightly related topic to find what you need. 
  2. Come see me! I can help you do the above, and also make sure you find whatever is available.